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Eastview coach Paul Goetz got a handshake from his son Garrett, before the start of a game between Eastview vs. Rosemount. Goetz's son Garrett, plays for Rosemount. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ firstname.lastname@example.org - January 7, 2013, Apple Valley,
Rosemount senior guard Garrett Goetz was fouled with half a second remaining, with the Irish leading rival Eastview by one point. A timeout was called by the Lightning coach, his father Paul.
“They were kidding me afterwards [about trying to freeze my own son],” Paul Goetz said. “I was more worried about trying to set up a play.”
The younger Goetz came out of the timeout and calmly sank both free throws. He finished with 17 points and five assists, helping the Irish overcome an eight-point halftime deficit for a 50-47 South Suburban Conference victory in the first of two meetings between father and son. Goetz II will be Feb. 3 at Rosemount.
“It was harder on all us than I thought it was going to be,” said Tammy Goetz, Garrett’s mom and Paul’s wife. “Everybody in this house likes to win. Nobody likes to lose.”
Tammy and other family members were in Garrett’s corner. She serves as team photographer for the Irish.
“I’m really glad Garrett played well and Rosemount won,” Tammy said. “It makes it a little better that it was a close game, and not a blowout.”
What about the photos from the game?
“I didn’t get too many good shots,” Tammy said. “I was having trouble focusing.”
Paul Goetz was hired as Eastview’s boys’ coach in June after taking a leave of absence as the girls’ coach after the 2010-11 season to watch Garrett play in high school. Paul won 326 games in 14 seasons with the girls’ program, advancing to the state tournament four times and finishing as the runner-up twice.
“It wasn’t great timing, but both Tammy and Garrett were behind it,” Paul said. “They told me that I have to do it because it was something I always wanted [to coach the boys’ team]. I wouldn’t have made that decision if my family wasn’t 100 percent behind me.”
That is, until they go head-to-head on the court. Paul has coached Garrett’s AAU team during the summer the past five years, most recently as members of the Minnesota Warriors 17-and-under squad.
“He’s taught me that basketball is a team game,” Garrett said. “It’s five guys on the court as well as the bench trying to accomplish the ultimate goal — getting a win. That’s an invaluable lesson.”
Garrett has led the Irish to a 9-3 record through their first dozen games, averaging 12.6 points, 5.4 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.
“The Goetzes are a great family and the have been a joy to get to know,” Irish coach Bryan Schnettler said. “Both Paul and Tammy love to watch Garrett play and they have been huge supporters of our program over the past four years.
“Garrett is a great kid on and off the court and his work ethic, leadership skills, and personality are going to take him a long way in life.”
His second-half play dropped his dad’s squad to 4-8. The Lightning has dropped its past seven games after starting 4-1.
“It’s a growing experience,” Paul Goetz said. “We have an inexperienced team and are in a tough conference. Everything we’re doing is for the first time. It’s going to take time. We’re taking small steps.”
Steps that would be much larger with a heady point guard like Garrett running the show.
“He has a high basketball IQ,” Paul said. “I think he makes everybody on the court better. He has really grown into being a leader this year, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Garrett is equally proud of his father.
“I’m very grateful that he took a break from his reign of success to support me,” Garrett said. “He’s greatest attribute is that’s he’s a leader, and that’s what I’m trying to develop.
“He’s definitely my role model. I look up to him in every aspect of life.”
Ron Haggstrom • 612-673-4498